"qualitative research first involves studying the meaning of people’s lives, under real-world conditions. People will be performing in their everyday roles or have expressed themselves through their own diaries, journals, writing, and even photography - entirely independent of any research inquiry. Social interactions will occur with minimal intrusion by artificial research procedures, and people will be saying what they want to say, not, for example, limited to responding to a researcher’s preestablished questionnaire. Likewise, people will not be inhibited by the confines of a laboratory or any laboratory-like setting. And they will not be represented by such statistical averages as the average American family having 3.18 persons (as of 2006) - which at once may represent accurately an entire population but in fact by definition does not speak to any single, real-life family.
Second, qualitative research differs because of its ability to represent the views and perspectives of the participants in a study. Capturing their perspectives may be a major purpose of a qualitative study. Thus, the events and ideas emerging from qualitative research can represent the meanings given to real-life events by the people who live them, not the values, preconceptions, or meanings held by researchers.
Third, qualitative research covers contextual conditions - the social, institutional, and environmental conditions within which people’s lives take place. In many ways, these contextual conditions may strongly influence all human events. However, the other social science methods (except for history) have difficulty in addressing these conditions.
Experiments, for instance, 'control out' these conditions (hence the artificiality of laboratory experiments). Quasi-experiments admit such conditions but by design nevertheless focus only on a limited set of 'variables,' which may or may not fully appreciate the contextual conditions. Similarly, surveys are constrained by the need to manage carefully the degrees of freedom required to analyze the responses to a set of survey questions; surveys are therefore limited in the number of questions devoted to any contextual conditions. History does address contextual conditions, but in its conventional form studies the 'dead past,' not ongoing events as in qualitative research (refer again to footnote 1 about oral history).
Fourth, qualitative research is not just a diary or chronicle of everyday life. Such a function would be a rather mundane version of real-world events. On the contrary, qualitative research is driven by a desire to explain these events, through existing or emerging concepts. For instance, one existing concept is Goffman’s (1963) stigma management. In his original work, stigma management largely pertained to adaptations by individual people. However, a contemporary qualitative study applied his typology and framework to a collective group, thereby offering new insights into how the actions of nation-states also might try to overcome their own historically stigmatizing events"
(Robert K. Yin, p.8,9)
1). Robert K. Yin (2011). "Qualitative Research from Start to Finish", The Guilford Press.
"Since 1987 IRC researchers and students have been exploring the rapidly developing landscape of visual technology. Initial research involved high-end 3D computer animation to create rich worlds and characters. Visualizations of the otherwise invisible, ranging from biology to long-gone or unrealized architecture continue to be created at the IRC for national broadcast and current feature films.
As digital media tools became more powerful, the IRC began developing interactive, real-time virtual worlds that could respond to the decisions of an involved viewer. Researching and utilizing current game-art technologies, the IRC has created internationally recognized interactive visualizations for museums and other institutions. Additionally, pure research in real-time visualization has involved UMBC students in immersive projects that have attracted national attention.
Today, visualization capabilities have become all but limitless. At the same time, the role imagery plays in contemporary culture is of rising importance. Research at the IRC has expanded to include multidisciplinary research projects to better understand and realize an effective use of imagery to help culture process its most profound ideas. Understanding social media, online communities, and interactive collaborative virtual spaces are basic aspects of this research."
(Imaging Research Center, University of Maryland Baltimore County)
"An annotated bibliography provides a brief account of the available research on a given topic. It is a list of research sources that includes concise descriptions and evaluations of each source.
The annotation usually contains a brief summary of content and a short analysis or evaluation. Depending on your assignment you may be asked to reflect, summarise, critique, evaluate or analyse the source.
An annotated bibliography may be a component of a larger assignment or it may be a stand-alone assignment. While an annotation can be as brief as one sentence, the standard annotated bibliography consists of a citation followed by a short paragraph."
(University of New South Wales, 2005)
"To date, there is no definitive published single source on research methods for artists and designers. The following methods are drawn from a range of sources, most importantly from validated completed formal research in Art and Design (main sources: ARIAD – www.ariad.co.uk; British Library’s Index to Theses – www.theses.com, Higher Education institutes’ published information), as well as useful examples of research projects in non-formal frameworks (for example, industry, commerce, education, and so on) as reported in various journals and professional publications. An examination of some of these examples would no doubt lead to ‘classic’ references to various ‘design methods’ publications by, for example, Archer (1965), Jones (1980), Cross (1984), and so on; and important research by Cornock (1978, 1983, 1984) on Fine Art methodology. During recent years, many more examples of practice-based research have become accessible. Many have already been cited in previous chapters and more are cited in this one.
These methods are particularly useful if your own practice forms part of the research methodology.
Other methods described come from Social Science research, for example www.sosig.ac.uk (accessed 15 August 2003); Denzin and Lincoln (1994); and some specifically from educational research, for example Cohen and Manion (1994), McKernan (1998). These are particularly relevant for human inquiry related to Art and Design, for example the study of an individual’s practice, and user feedback for designed products. In some circumstances, particular areas of design, for example industrial design, a more scientific approach may be appropriate, in which case ‘design methods’ may be useful. Documented examples of projects using design methods can be found in the journal Design Studies – www.elsevier.nl/locate/destud (accessed 16 June 2003). The range of methods outlined is by no means definitive or completely comprehensive, and they cannot be described here in any great detail. If you think that a particular method described in this book would be useful in your project then you should discuss it with your supervisor. You should always follow up the references and examples given in order to appreciate the context in which the method was used. As you become more familiar with various methods you will realize the kind of tasks involved in applying them. Once you have identified these tasks, build them into your plan of work. Research methods development relies on researchers (including you!) adding further detail and modifying as a method is tried and evaluated."
(Carole Gray and Julian Malins, 2004, pp.104- 120)
[Gray and Malins outline the selection and use of common practice-led/practice-based research methods including: Practice; Photography, Video, 3D Models/maquettes, Reflective journal/Research diary, Audio reflection, ‘Sweatbox’, Case study, Interview, Questionnaire, Personal constructs.]
1). Carole Gray and Julian Malins (2004). "Visualizing Research ", Ashgate.
"this blog is nina wenhart's collection of resources on the various histories of new media art. it consists mainly of non or very little edited material i found flaneuring on the net, sometimes with my own annotations and comments, sometimes it's also textparts i retyped from books that are out of print.
it is also meant to be an additional resource of information and recommended reading for my students of the prehystories of new media class that i teach at the school of the art institute of chicago in fall 2008.
the focus is on the time period from the beginning of the 20th century up to today."
(Nina Wenhart, 26/06/2008)